Fall’s Healing Foods (According to Chinese Medicine)

Have you noticed?

Summer’s heat is gradually fading. You step outside in the evening and experience a cooler night. When you breathe in the cool air, an inner something knows the seasons are shifting.

Summer moments are warm memories now. School starts soon. Daylight hours slowly shorten. As nature shifts from late summer to early fall we naturally follow the seasonal change. We ease into becoming less active, going to bed earlier, and adjusting the foods we select.

Prepping for cooler temperatures we no longer rely on summer sun to warm us. We intuitively rely on our internal warmth and the heat found in food. The theory of foods having temperature (cold, warm, hot, and neutral), and eating seasonally dates back thousands of years. This practice was adapted to seasonal crop availability. Canning and pickling before refrigeration preserved foods.

Today’s foods

Thanks to overnight international shipping and markets all types of foods are available most months of the year. Fresh raspberries from South America arrive in frigid Ohio even in February. But choosing local seasonal foods is vital. When we eat in accordance with the season, our body avoids excess stress and maintains homeostasis. Shifting from late summer to early fall, it is best to enjoy meals that are baked, sautéed, or cooked over several hours. Soup season has arrived!

What does the body need in fall?

Cold hands and feet are common in fall and winter. Our bodies lack sufficient internal warmth. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Exercise. The warmth that typically circulates to our extremities stays within our core to protect our organs. In order for the whole body and organs to function properly the core needs to be warm. Otherwise our hands and feet feel cold.

How about a healthy start to your fall?

The foods listed on the image (pictured above) will warm your entire body and reduce stress. Pick your favorites. Eat them often!

Malerie Giaimo is a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. OM), Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac) and Herbalist. Within my scope of practice, I also educate patients on dietary therapy from both Eastern and Western perspectives.

During the shift from late summer into fall, enjoy warm soups and a cup of fresh ginger and honey tea.

When temperatures drop we become more susceptible to colds and flu. Late summer and early fall are perfect to charge up your internal army to protect yourself from bacteria and viruses. Incorporate natural remedies such as herbs, supplements and acupuncture.

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